Cathy Renna Bob Chapek Washington state Florida transgender Youth Exclusives Cathy Renna Bob Chapek Washington state Florida

How Republicans Are Endangering LGBTQ+ Kids With Hateful Legislation

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A walkout at Disney earlier this year over CEO Bob Chapek’s  handling of Florida’s “don’t say gay” bill.The tidal wave of bad legislation has come when there’s an LGBTQ-friendly administration in Washington; plenty of LGBTQ+ characters on TV and in movies, often played by out actors; and polls showing record support for equality, especially among young people.

The bills and other anti-LGBTQ+ moves are partly in reaction to the progress the community has made.“You can certainly see that there is a growing fear and backlash around what we’re seeing in the culture,” says Cathy Renna, communications director for the National LGBTQ Task Force.

The increasing affirmation of LGBTQ+ people, she says, “is really terrifying to the people who want to maintain the status quo and live in the 1950s.”Backers of these bills “are people whose mission is to roll back acceptance of LGBTQ people,” adds Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel at the Human Rights Campaign.The legislation is also part of a concerted effort by right-wing groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Heritage Foundation, and the Family Research Council, and activists say it shows their increasing desperation in seeking to marginalize LGBTQ+ people.

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